It is always easy to judge the drafting nous of recruiters through an exercise in revisionist history.
With the benefit of hindsight, it is no surprise that the exposed form of young potential AFL draftees can often exaggerate or undersell their potential.
The 2013 Under-18 All-Australian team, despite being created via a selection committee filled with high-performance AFL recruiters and chaired by draft guru Kevin Sheehan, is no exception to this premise.
In this deep dive the careers of AFL players selected in this side are analysed, with the variance in success highlighting the volatility that plagues draft analysis as the 2023 AFL draft looms large.
Gardiner, who recently signed a three-year deal with Brisbane that will tie him to the club until at least 2025, has become a stalwart in defence as the Lions look to improve on their preliminary final appearance in 2023.
Matt Scharenberg was luckless with injury, suffering multiple ACL setbacks throughout his short career en-route to his delisting at the age of just 25.
Kade Kolodjashnij was twice selected in the 22under22 team after impressing at AFL level as a youngster but was unfortunately forced to retire at the conclusion of the 2020 season due to ongoing concussion issues.
This side's cohort of midfielders is filled with household names, with all bar one still on an AFL list.
Luke Dunstan is the only other player that isn't entrenched in the best 22 of an AFL side, having struggled to crack into Melbourne's star-studded midfield after moving to the Demons after 116 games with St Kilda.
No matter what Dom Sheed does for the remainder of his career, he will always be remembered for writing himself into the history books by kicking the winning goal of the 2018 AFL Grand Final from a tight set shot on the boundary line.
While Eagles fans still rave about Sheed's heroics, their crosstown rivals are the beneficiaries of swingman James Aish's continued improvement.
Aish averaged career bests in disposals, marks, inside 50s, clearances and contested possessions in 2022, cementing his spot as an integral part of a young and exciting Fremantle list.
Josh Kelly perhaps has the highest individual credentials of the lot, having won two Kevin Sheedy Medals as the best and fairest GWS player, been selected in an All-Australian side and signed a monster contract extension last year that will keep him at the Harbour City until at least 2029.
He is presently a co-captain of GWS and is considered to be one of the premier midfielders in the competition.
However, amidst the accolades of the other aforementioned players, it is Toby Nankervis that has participated in three of the four AFL premierships won by this midfield group.
Nankervis, the current co-captain and number one ruckman at Richmond, is a triple premiership player who epitomises the hard-working culture that underlies the recent success of the Tigers.
The forwards in this side have had the least longevity, with only Jack Billings remaining on an AFL list.
This section is a graveyard of talents that haven't lived up to their initial hype, with almost all of these players winning accolades early in their AFL careers before tailing off into relative obscurity.
Thomas Boyd is another that was expected to have a long and illustrious career before mental health problems caused him to decide in favour of an early retirement.
However, Boyd will always be remembered for playing arguably the best game of his career in the 2016 Grand Final, assisting the Bulldogs in completing a fairytale season by winning the Premiership from seventh on the ladder.
He was delisted this year after playing just one game - as the unused medical substitute - in 2022.
Ben Lennon failed to make an impact at AFL level and played just 21 games over four seasons for Richmond, while Darcy Hourigan went undrafted and instead turned his attention to dominating country footy in South Australia.
He has played 144 games at Moorabbin amidst a bevy of injury and form issues.
The interchange bench plays host to two previously rookie-listed players who failed to make an AFL debut, a five-year AFL player and (most notably) the reigning 2022 Brownlow medallist.
Cripps is a three-time All-Australian, four-time best-and-fairest winner and the reigning Brownlow Medallist.
He is also the current captain of a Blues side seeking to push up the ladder next year after a promising 2022 season.
Whilst his selection in the 2013 Under-18 All-Australian team was no doubt a significant achievement at the time, that team is proof that the form of young AFL hopefuls is an insufficient metric for determining their future success.
2013 Under-18 All-Australian team
FB: Zak Jones, Darcy Gardiner, Liam Dawson
HB: Clem Smith, Matt Scharenberg, Kade Kolodjashnij
C: Billy Hartung, Dom Sheed, James Aish
HF: Ben Lennon, Cameron McCarthy, Jack Billings
FF: Lewis Taylor, Thomas Boyd, Darcy Hourigan
FO: Toby Nankervis, Luke Dunstan, Josh Kelly
INT: Mitch Honeychurch, Patrick Cripps, James Battersby, Lloyd Perris